Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Robert Mueller takes the stand. The former US special counsel will appear before two House committees to answer questions about his 448-page report on Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. Mueller made a last-minute request for his longtime aide, Aaron Zebley, to be sworn in alongside him.
South Korea could get booted from Japan’s white list. The period set aside for public comment on whether Japan’s government should remove its neighbor from its list of preferred trading parters comes to a close, and Seoul will reportedly send a plea to be kept in good standing.
CFOs report earnings en masse. Deutsche Bank, Facebook, Boeing, and Tesla—all with a tumultuous first half of 2019 behind them—will report on their financials, alongside AT&T, Ford, UPS, and PayPal. Data on German manufacturing and sales of existing US homes will also help shed light on market conditions.
T-Mobile and Sprint could get the green light. The US Department of Justice may finish its deliberations and is likely to approve the merger between the wireless carriers, now that Dish Network has absorbed some of their assets and become a competitor, as planned.
While you were sleeping
Boris Johnson became the next UK prime minister. It wasn’t unexpected, but it didn’t come without drama—ministers are resigning in protest—and Johnson reaffirmed his plan to push Brexit through, deal or no deal. Despite, or perhaps because of, Johnson’s colorful CV, certain world leaders were quick to send their regards.
Snapchat’s user base surged and its stock followed suit. Snap reported its largest-ever gain in daily active users and posted a loss of only 6 cents per share. Ecstatic investors sent Snap stock soaring 10%, continuing the company’s recovery from a rocky 2018.
Li Peng died. The former Chinese premier and ex-chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee was known as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
The UK’s proposed Gulf security fleet met resistance. Championed by Jeremy Hunt, who just lost the race to become prime minister, the plan calls for a European-led naval force to check Iran’s maritime power days after it captured a British oil tanker. Although EU nations expressed interest, Iran and allies of incoming PM Boris Johnson aren’t so keen.
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The franchise is the engine on which Hollywood runs, comprising the vast majority of both the US and international box office market share. But as big as franchise movies are, they’re developed and distributed by just a select few companies—and the list of franchises that are both critically and commercially successful is smaller than you might think. These 17 charts will help you understand the franchise phenomenon gripping Hollywood.
The “dewiness” makeup trend has the world aglow. Imported from South Korea, the intensive regimen produces “glass” or “honey” skin: a backlash to the matte- and contour-heavy Instagram aesthetic of recent years, a complement to the athleisure look, and a way of saying “anti-aging” without saying it. Dew drop in at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Automation is good news for low-tech jobs. A digitized economy will create more new jobs for bartenders, therapists, and teachers than for programmers.
The US has a lot in common with China’s surveillance state. But at least China acknowledges that it has one.
Fortune 500 companies’ days are numbered. Companies that don’t quickly adapt in a brave new world of AI and robots will go under.
Pinterest wants to help users de-stress. If you search for stress-related topics, the site will suggest you take a deep breath.
Cities are finally reaching gender parity. For decades, urban women have outnumbered men—but times (and the economy) are changing.
There’s only one good way to stroke a cat. Scientists have confirmed that with cats, as with humans, it’s important to respect boundaries.
A typo changed the meaning of Ireland’s commemorative moon landing stamps. The post office accidentally celebrated landing on “gaelach” (the Irish) instead of “gealach” (the moon).
The best mammalian mountaineer is a mouse. The yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse can live at elevations of more than 20,000 feet.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, calming affirmations, and mountain mice to email@example.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Nicolás Rivero and Susan Howson.